Letters to the editor

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I am a proud Jew. And I am proud of my people.  But today, I am also greatly ashamed of many of my people.  Earlier last week hundreds of my Jewish brothers and sisters sat in the U.S. capital and demanded a “cease-fire” between Israel and Hamas.  To them, and to the rest of my Jewish brethren I must make the following plea:

I am tired of this. Wake up. This atrocity happens every 100 years. Whether pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, blood libels, the Holocaust, the Yom Kippur War, or the conflict with Hamas where 1,400 members of our family were raped, burned alive, kidnapped, and shot in mass executions, this is not new.

It has been the role of the Jews in the world to be murdered and then to get blamed for our own killing. This trauma has defined us.  We have holidays to mark them. But for the first time in modern history things are different. Jewish blood is no longer cheap. This was a slaughter of our people. It is happening in real time. It is the event that we experience every century, at least. This is the time to say stop. This is the time to say enough. Why can’t a Jew be proud?  I am proud to be strong. I am proud that murdering my people no longer results in a hall pass. I am proud that I have a state of Israel to stick up for me. That you don’t just go get to kill a bunch of Jews and get away with it. We are not sheep anymore. The loss of Palestinian life that will continue to grow is an absolute tragedy.  But this is entirely preventable by Hamas, and has been encouraged by those terrorist thugs.

I am proud — there is finally a consequence to massacring Jews.  For the first time, war is that consequence. Because when you do not fight back, murderous, slanderous libel just comes back 10-fold.

Passivity as Jews are slaughtered and the world looks on is no longer the norm. Because that is what it means to be a people who have the right of self-determination. You do not get to molest us freely anymore. True, we must hold our values that are undeniably morally superior to those of Hamas. But the answer to killing our people can no longer be silence. Because silence is unacceptable and appeasement is deadly. Wake up. Wake. Up. It is time to demand an end to these murderous thugs. Because appeasement and cease-fires only result in the deaths of more Israelis and Palestinians.

If you support the Palestinian cause and if you support the Israeli cause you must demand that this war be seen through to the rightful conclusion. Hamas must be completely destroyed.  Today, I am ashamed for those of my Jewish family who demand a ceasefire.  But I am also proud.  Because my life, and the lives of Jews, finally have value.  And we will be avenged.

AJ Edelman is an Israeli American Olympian and captain of the Israeli Bobsled Team-Edelman.  When not training and competing he can be found in Brookline. 

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